KATHMANDU, July 9: Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies is reportedly preparing to allow the Nepal Army to revive the defunct Hetauda Textile Industry (HTI).
Though the then Minister of Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi had also announced in 2016 that the liquidated government-owned textile industry will be revived by bringing in security agencies as shareholder, the process was stalled amid widespread criticisms of the move. However, the new government has once again resumed the process to rope in the Nepal Army to reopen the industry that was closed nearly one and half decades ago mainly due to political interference, weak management, government negligence and eroding production capacity.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Minister Matrika Yadav has started the process to revive defunct government industries, including Hetauda Textile Industry. As part of the initiatives to revive HTI with the involvement of the Nepal Army, Minister Yadav on Monday formed a seven-member committee to study the feasibility of reviving the industry. The committee comprises of three senior officials of the Nepal Army along with a joint secretary of the finance ministry and an expert mechanical engineer to be appointed by the ministry.
Santosh Bista, personal secretary to Minister Yadav, told Republica that the committee will study the condition of the machinery and other infrastructures of the industry, operation modality of the industry, investment modality, cost to revive the industry, according to Bista. He also said that the committee will submit its report to the ministry within 15 days.
“The army had carried out similar study earlier also. The move to form the committee is aimed at reviving the government-owned defunct industries,” said Bista. “This committee will recommend whether it is possible to revive the industry with the involvement of the army,” he added.
ARMY TO BUY TANKERS TO SUPPLY FUEL
Meanwhile, the ministry has also decided to start the process of allowing the Nepal Army to buy tankers and supply fuel to the Nepal Oil Corporation.
The meeting held at the ministry on Monday under the chairmanship of Minister Yadav and in presence of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Acting Managing Director Sushil Bhattarai and Nepal Army’s Acting Chief of Staff Purna Chandra Thapa, and Industry Secretary Yam Kumari Khatiwada made the decision to pave the way for the Nepal Army to purchase tankers and supply fuel to the NOC on contract.
With this decision, the Nepal Army will be able to start the process of purchasing tankers from its welfare fund and supply fuel to the NOC in contract.
“The decision to allow the Nepal Army’s Welfare Fund is part of the efforts to break the syndicate of tankers and truck entrepreneurs who time and again threaten the supply of fuel with their protest,” said Bista.